Friday, January 31, 2020

Index Card Portrait

I am still making the index cards and wanted to show you the one I made yesterday. It's made with fabric scraps from the yo-yo coverlet. I used a marker to draw the glasses.

When cutting the circles, I was cutting over a recently-emptied shoebox so that the fabric trash would fall into it. I've been really good with throwing out the fabric trash lately, but the holiday moved trash day from Friday to Monday, so the box is really full. I think I may use more of these pieces before next trash day.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Yo-Yo Progress

The little princess was tucked neatly into the bed.

This is how I found her in the morning. She must have found the pea. Or maybe Zeus decided he wanted to sleep on the bed.

Where we left off in making the yo-yos:

I used up all of the reproduction fabric Wendy gave me to make yo-yos (pillows) and mattresses. Or maybe they are coins and billion dollar bills.

I used up all of the English Garden fat quarter pack.

I used up the parts of the other fat quarter pack I had bought for this. It was designed to give the feel of the 1930s although I don't think it was reproduction fabrics.  I didn't add the whole pack because there were some fabrics I put in a scrap quilt. At the time I had a different idea of what colorway I was using for this coverlet.

This is where we are now:


This is what 700 yo-yos look like together, minus a few that were too shy to get in the group shot. Only a few left to go.

I also went through my stash to find other fabric to use. Mostly micro-floral, dots and checks. A lot of these are calicos from the 80s and 90s so I am happy to finally give them a place to shine.

This coverlet uses a lot of fabric because the front and the back of the coverlet is being made at the same time.  And there is more fabric waste in cutting circles instead of squares. I don't understand how yo-yos were a depression era pattern because it is wasteful.

The additional fabrics were more saturated colors and darker that were added that changed the direction of the colorway I was using. In my defense, it is winter. And let's face it, I wouldn't have been able to make a pastel quilt in the spring either, unless I chose all the fabric at once and stuck with them throughout the making. I love the look of it, but like a minimal quilt, it is hard for me to do.

The last few (56) yo-yos have mostly pinks in them.

While the resulting yo-yo pile looks like a mishmash of everything, I was very selective in what I was adding.  I let intuition be my guide and can't really tell you why a particular fabric was selected or rejected. Hopefully they all play together nicely. What do you think? Do you see any fabric that doesn't belong?

2020:  Week 4 of 15 Minutes to Stitch


I spent this week making  yo-yos and mattresses for a yo-yo coverlet I am making to reproduce the one I saw in New Orleans. That one was all one color (cream).

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7 days
15 minute days this year -- 7 out of 26 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
Life in Pieces: 15 Minutes to Stitch 
Put Your Foot Down - Linky Party Thursday 
Peacock Party 
Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Saturday, January 25, 2020

A Bed for a Princess

I took a break from making multiple yo-yos to make a bed for a princess. Hopefully she won't feel any peas under there. 

These are some of the squares that the yo-yos will encircle when they are finished.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Weekly Recap

All of my stitching time this week has been spent making yo-yos and more yo-yos. This is one of those projects that because I need so many, I could easily divide it into chunks and maybe make a few a month until I get them done.

But I found that they are quite addictive and lots of fun to make. So addictive in fact that I spent more than the allotted 15 minutes. I might even be sad when I get to the end, but I know I still need to put them together.

Throughout the yo-yo making experience, I have enjoyed watching historical documentaries about the Crusades, the Mogul empire, the Black Death, and syphilis, as well as the usual crafty ones.

2020:  Week 3 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I spent this week making  yo-yos for a yo-yo coverlet I am making to reproduce the one I saw in New Orleans. That one was all one color (cream).

15 minute days this week -- 7 out of 7 days
15 minute days this year -- 7 out of 19 days

 Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
Kate's Life in Pieces 15 Minutes to Stitch 
What I Made on Monday

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Can't Have Just One

Or one hundred. These yo-yos are so addictive! They are really fun to make.

This is the first batch of hundred. Most of these are from the English Garden fat quarter pack, and just a few of the 1930s reproductions. I am using pink, blue, green and yellow.

This is the second batch of 100. To be fair, the first and second batches were mixed together so I could see how they looked together.

For the third batch, I decided I didn't have enough green so I added green fabrics. These greens and pinks are darker than the original pastels, so I added lots of yellow and cream to add more lightness.

Close to the end of the fourth batch, I decided purple that were coordinating shades would also work.

For the fifth batch, I decided I needed more blues, so I got more from my stash. I also decided orange that were coordinating shades would also work with the purple.

Here they are all together - all five hundred of them. They are a lot of fun to play with.

It will take 12 of these to surround each 6 inch square if I add square cornerstone squares. This will make a 10 inch block (one six-inch square with a two-inch yo-yo on each side). If I use a 7 x 9 setting, I will need 63 x 12 = 756 yo-yos.

Linked with:
Off the Wall Fridays

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Blog Hops and Fun Mail

I received some fun things in the mail I would like to show you.

I received a pretty notebook and a bunch of storage boxes from Prairie Moon Quilts
 for participating in an organizing challenge she was hosting. I love that the prize will help me be even more organized! Thank you so much!

When Judy from Small Quilts and Doll Quilts showed her holiday favorites, I noticed that she too had made a Vintage Holiday quilt - the red and white one with the kids sledding. She had used tiny buttons to represent the snow and offered me the leftovers. Thank you so much for sending them, Judy. Now I have to decide whether to use felt circles or buttons or both on my Vintage Holiday quilt.

I recently watched the Craft in America quilt special and they had a vintage quilt made out of buttons that was quite intriguing.  I couldn't make anything that big, but I am considering making a small quilt out of buttons and these would be perfect for that. It won't be soon though, because I already have plans for my February and March quilts.

Blog Hops

I am going to be participating in a couple of blog hops, and want to make sure you knew about them in case want to participate too.

Carol at Just Let Me Quilt is hosting a Color It Red Blog Hop in February. I think it will be a great theme for my monthly mini. Since I am done with my January mini, I am busy making plans for the February mini. I will be working on finishing a quilt I have already started, and am trying to figure out where I left off, what my plans were, and whether I want to continue with that plan or go a new way.


Last year, I participated in the Dust Off an Old Quilt Book hop and had a great time, so decided to join again. This year, Bea is offering a prize to the person who dusts off the oldest quilt book, so you should make sure you are fully loaded with your allergy medicine and dust mask. I found two really old books on my shelves without even trying. One of them is really old and bound to be the winner, but I've chosen a newer old book that has a quilt I want to make.

2020:  Week 2 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I spent this week making more yo-yos. I had a box of fabric I bought a wile ago with fabrics that look like they might be 1930's reproductions, at least to my untrained eye, and have been adding them to the yo-yo bags. 100 yo-yos in each plastic bag. I have 3 bags full and have a good start to the 4th one.  The ones I have made previously are pastels and the new additions are a little brighter / darker. I think it is good to add value differences to make the quilt interesting, so I am dialing up the volume a bit but trying to keep it from getting too loud. It is interesting how each new fabric changes the overall look of the mixture.

I've also given up on the yo-yo maker which requires one stitch at a time and wastes a lot of thread. The folds aren't as consistent doing it this way because my stitch length isn't very consistent, but I think that is part of the charm of a yo-yo quilt.

15 minute days this week =  7/7 days
15 minute days this year =7/7 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
Life in Stitches 15 Minutes to Quilt

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Quilt Reveal: Maximum Minimal

I am about to reveal my latest quilt to you.  It came together as a result of a confluence of factors.

1.  I decided to try to make a mini quilt a month again this year. There is a group of us who do this, as documented by Wendy at The Constant Quilter.  I made quite a few small quilts last year as a result of this group. You are welcome to join us.

2.  I looked through my library books for a pattern, and this book, Minimal Quiltmaking  by Gwen Marston, looked like it would give me a quick and easy quilt that I could finish by the end of the month.

3.  I decided I am going to track my fabric purchases this year.  Not to limit myself, but to be more aware.  Of course, I had to buy fabric at the end of the year sale from Bluprint that I did  not have to track.  There were a lot of fabrics that were $2.70 - $3.30 a yard, so I could afford to splurge. A smart person would have bought bigger yardage for borders and backings, but with so many pretty fabrics, I wanted one of each. They individually wrap each piece. I just bought for the stash and not for a particular project, so I just got whatever I liked.  I normally buy tone on tone type of fabrics, but I bought some large designs. They are less practical, but prettier. I was itching to use that rose print on the left and was initially thinking of using it as a center fabric of an Amish-type diamond quilt.

4. Kim has a wonderful blog called Sarah Lizzies where she shows gorgeous photos of flowers and quilts.  She said there is no such thing as too busy.  Since I was still under the influence of her blog, I decided to combine my fabric purchases into one quilt. I've done this before with Simply Squares and was really happy with the end result.  If you think my quilt is too busy, go spend some time on her blog until you fall under the influence too. Remember who sent you, and please come back to visit me if you can pry yourself away from her spell.

I have been trying to make a minimalist quilt for a long time, and consider myself graduated from that school after making the Blue Shirts quilt.  There is some sort of technicality about actually finishing the quilt, so I haven't received the diploma yet, but whatever.  I decided to go to the other extreme and make a maximalist quilt.

5. Of course I chose the least minimal quilt so I could show a large number of fabrics. The quilt pattern is a large one, so I did some math to cut the pattern to a quarter of the size of the original.  If you want to teach some kids some fractions, this is a great pattern to use, since pretty much all of the shapes wound up with a denominator of 8. Not the easy ones like 2/8 or 4/8, but the more persnickety 3/8 and 5/8 and 7/8. Lucky for me, the Project Quilting Challenge is Notably Numeric. This means that I can make the quilt I was already planning on making, but now instead of a month, I have to finish the quilt in a week.

 "Sometimes a quilt gets whomped with the ugly stick, but if you learned something THAT IS ENOUGH. Do it, get it done, and MOVE ON." Trish Franklin

Game on! I did change the pattern once I got the body sewn as I tried to find a pleasing arrangement using my fabric.  I wound up using the border fabrics as frames. This involved additional use of my calculator and thinking and measuring. Too bad I am using letter instead of number fabric.

All but one of the fabric is new. That one, the framed red violet, is a scrap of fabric that is in both of my Drunkard's Path quilts. The scrap box I am working on emptying now is an old one and had this trimming from the backing of my first Drunkard's Path quilt.

Also Linked with:
Needle and Thread Thursday 
Small Quilts and Doll Quilts

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Another Year of 15 Minutes to Stitch

Kate is hosting 15 Minutes to Stitch again this year. The plan is to try to stitch for at least 15 minutes every day.  I am happy to do this again this year.

As usual, I had a strong start to this challenge. I spent the week with circles. I made a whole bunch of yo-yos, and now have 201 of them. I don't know about these types of quilts, but I would imagine they would need special care to keep them in shape.   I think yo-yos will look best on a flat surface and a bed in the guest bedroom will probably be the best place to put it where it has a chance of staying clean, so I have a bunch more of them to make.

I realized that the size of my Quilty Circles 365 quilt has not grown in a long time, although I have made some blocks. I decided to make more circles so that I can sew some more rows together to add to the rows that have already been made.

Circle Block 269



A nice simple circle block to start a new batch.

Circle Block 270


These are leftovers cut out from the block 272.

Circle Block 271


A sweet candy to start off the new year.

 Circle Block 272


This one makes me think of The Little Mermaid Disney movie.

2020:  Week 1 of 15 Minutes to Stitch

I spent this week making circle blocks and yo-yos. To make the weeks end on a Sunday, I am recording 5 days for this week.

15 minute days/week =  5/5 days
15 minute days/2019 = 5/5 days
Success rate  = 100%

Linked with:
Kate's Life in Pieces 15 Minutes to Stitch

Friday, January 3, 2020

Yo-Yo Quilt Progress

Instead of picking a big project to work on to start off the year, I have decided to just move a few projects forward. Thanks again to Wendy from The Constant Quilter for the beautiful 30's fabric.

This week, I have been making more yo-yos. I laid them out to see if they were too busy and needed a constant fabric, either for the squares, or for the cornerstone yo-yos. Another option is to add a smaller squares to replace the four cornerstone yo-yos. What do you think?

Here's a blurry pictures without the flash so you can see the colors better. I am using pink, blue, green, yellow, and cream. The fabric in the squares have bigger patterns that look better in a large setting, and/or patterns I like better.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My Word of the Year 2020

In 2019, my Word of the Year was Appreciate.  It was meant to make me more grateful for the things I have in life and to take the time to savor instead of rushing through life.

I forgot to add a gratitude every day or even to every post and eventually gave up on even trying to do it once in a while. And I had to keep looking up what my Word of the Year even was.

But I did find a way to incorporate it in my quilting.  I appreciated the joy of quilting and did not impose any restrictions to myself.  If I felt like starting a new quilt, I could, even if I had started others the previous week, even if my pile of UFOs was piling up. I could pick up whatever I felt like working on, even if there were others closer to completion, or newer, or older. I cleaned my sewing room thoroughly, turning everything inside out and appreciating owning all the supplies I had. I could buy more fabric even though I hadn't put away the last batch I bought.

Doing that, I found that I had an incredibly productive 2019. I made and finished more quilts than I ever had in previous years. And I thoroughly enjoyed myself in the process. Instead of trying to slog through a bunch of self -imposed restrictions, I could follow the path of least resistance, the past of most joy, and manage to make many quilts while enjoying the process. This method helped me do even those things that seemed extremely difficult, like quilting big quilts on my little machine. I could add quilting stitches when I felt like it, and do something else until I felt like adding more quilting stitches.

For 2020, I want to continue along the same way.  Since Appreciate doesn't quite fit that, I looked for a word that went along with the theme and mood.

laid-back, relaxed, easygoing, at ease,equable, free and easy, easy,casual, informal, friendly, nonchalant, insouciant, unexcitable, , imperturbable, unemotional, unruffled, blasé, blithe, cool, collected, calm, and collected, composed, self-possessed, levelheaded, self-controlled, unperturbed, unflustered, unworried, unconcerned,  placid, peaceful, tranquil, serene, low-key, understated, downbeat, leisurely, unhurried, stoical, phlegmatic, mellow, forbearing, live-and-let-live, tolerant, unflappable, together, chilled, nonplussed